November 7, 2009

The chart...

... plain and horrifying:


Pastafarian said...

$700 billion doesn't buy as much as it used to, does it?

Obama told us we had to ram through the Spendulus, because otherwise unemployment might go up to 9%; and if we did pass the Spendulus, then it would max out at 8%.

They passed it, and now unemployment is up over 10%.

AlphaLiberal, Montana Urban Legend, hdhouse, Freder, et al, please attempt to defend this. While I wait, listening to the chirping of the crickets, I'll make some popcorn.

avwh said...

This OUGHT to be horrifying, but Pelosi's troops are marching headlong into making it even worse.

If I'm a small business owner, why in hell would I add to payroll, when healthcare costs, energy costs, and taxes are uncertain but definitely going up if Obama/Pelosi succeed?

Pastafarian said...

You Rethuglican hacks. Oh, gee, look, unemployment is at its highest level since...

Ronald Reagan!!!11!

So there you have it, Obama is just as good as your hero, Ronald Reagan.


What do you hillbillies care, anyway? You can still draw enough from unemployment to make your trailer payments and purchase your cheap domestic beer and lottery tickets. Consider the Obama presidency to be your own extended vacation from your usual toil of pushing a mop at the Piggly Wiggly.

Pastafarian said...

There, I thought I'd get it started for you. Feel free to jump in, AlphaLib, et al.

Quayle said...

Obama is just as good as your hero, Ronald Reagan.

And Reagan got Carter's inflation under control for the cost of his unemployment.

What is Obama getting for ours?

His friends are getting billions to set up shops and give aid to fake pimps.

A slight difference, wouldn't you say Pasta?

rhhardin said...

It seems about right to me, given what they've done and are threatening to do about killing any returns to investment.

Quayle said...

BTW, I've been looking around in my econometrics books for the formula for calculating jobs created or saved.

I can't seem to find it.

Can anyone out there help me out? What is the mathematical method for calculating that figure?

Pastafarian said...

avwh, if you're a small business owner, like me, then you haven't seen anything yet. You and I have a big bulls-eye on our backs, avwh.

They can take over big businesses; but there are two many small businesses. It would be like herding cats. So instead, they'll destroy us.

Everything on their agenda, from cap and tax, to "free" health care, to card check, to tax increases on individuals (and S corps), is designed to destroy small business.

Big Mike said...

Just so everybody keeps in mind that the blue lines were drawn by Obama's economic team.

This is not some effort on the part of Republicans to set unrealistic goals -- this is from the estimates from Obama's own people and used to justify the "stimulus" package (that so far has only stimulated more unemployement.

Now there is talk of a 2nd stimulus, no doubt because the first one worked so well.

Professor, you need to add a new tag: "Obama is like Hoover."

Joan said...

Quayle: Pastafarian's first post was -- I was going to say satire, but it's not, nor is it a spoof -- let's go with this -- preempting at least the tone, if not the exact content, of the type of response Obama supporters make when anyone points out his policies have been a disaster.

traditionalguy said...

So what is the stimulus effect of another trillion dollars in taxes right now to "Fix" something that is not broken. Eternal depression and starvation rationong of basic essential. That will reduce the population by stopping the will to raise children. Voila, Mother Goddess Geia's polluted territory can become Clean by cleang away the Human Race that so offends her and her prophets.

Pastafarian said...

Quayle, if you're an employer who's received Spendulus money, and you've used $1 of that money to pay the salary of an employee, then his job has been "saved".

I'm not surprised by this. We took out an SBA loan a few years ago, and every 6 months or so I'd receive this enormous pile of paperwork, and I'd have to pull from my ass the number of jobs that had been "created" by this loan.

As if the jobs weren't created by an innovation, or by creative marketing, but rather by a loan -- as if this money could never have been obtained without the SBA.

So they rely on this bogus self-reporting to make their inefficient bureaucracies look like they're getting more for the money than they actually are.

The government building that I had to visit to apply for this loan, by the way, was like a palace, located on the river with mile-long views of the city in both directions, marble floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, huge hardwood conference tables, etc. Truly a sickening experience.

The Drill SGT said...

Quayle said...
BTW, I've been looking around in my econometrics books for the formula for calculating jobs created or saved.

Romer and the rest of those WH economic hacks should be tossed out of our Guild.

First for pimping that "jobs created or saved" meme, and then for the underlying fairy tale about how the stimulus was gonna save the world.

Dont get me started on Orszag and his "bending the cost curve" crp either.

William T Sherman said...

I blame racism.

Or Bush.

Or Halliburton.

Or angry white men.

Julie said...

The only thing this plot tells us is that the predictive model was wrong. It does not tell us if we are worse off now with the stimulus than we would have been without it.

Although I actively opposed every bailout and "stimulus" that has been rammed through, both in Bush's term and Obama's, the scientific training in me CAN'T STAND THIS PLOT! I presume it is the same or similar model that calculated the "With Recovery Plan" and the "Without Recovery Plan" curves to begin with. So to cry "They lied! Look how much worse the real numbers are (red dots) compared to what they would have been without the stimulus (light blue curve)!" implies that you accept the model of the light blue curve. This means that you have to accept the dark blue curve as well, since it is the same model! The models were wrong. That's all this plot says. I think tinkering with the free markets will hurt us in the long run, and might even be hurting us now, but this plot does not show that.

I can't stand this plot the same way I couldn't stand Al Gore's axis fiascoes in his movie.

daubiere said...

AlphaLiberal, Montana Urban Legend, hdhouse, Freder, et al, please attempt to defend this. While I wait, listening to the chirping of the crickets, I'll make some popcorn."

oh theyll be able to defend it. you cant be a "progressive" without learning how to defend, at any cost, the indefensible.

ill say it now: theres absolutely nothing obama and the "progressives" in power could do that would not be supported and defended by those types of hacks. theyd clean the booths at peep world with their tongues if so ordered

wv: rushoo

daubiere said...

julie, i dont see a problem with it. the red points are simply a third, real data point superimposed over two suppositions for ironic effect. its meant to be visual criticism, contrasting the administrations ridiculous chart with the painful reality.

garage mahal said...

I'm just glad a liberal Democrat like myself, can come to blog ran by a liberal Democrat, and find all these links straight to the RNC, Pajamas Media, and Fox News. Only weird thing is we never heard a peep about unemployment numbers that were skyrocketing during the last President.

daubiere said...

garage, cant you mentally deficient pipsqueaks (i include the obama administration in this category) ever defend your positions without falling back on the increasingly comical "but bush did it too!!" argument??? yeah so what so what. now why is this happening when obama said it wouldnt?? whatever the cause of the problem, obamas solutions have been failures. be a fucking man for a change and defend your beliefs and theories without crying about big bad bush.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The unemployment numbers cited above are an inaccurate measure of the unemployment data.

The broader measurement of unemployment is called U-6. It accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs.

U-6 is currently 17.5%, and will likely approach 20% by year's end when the data is adjusted for loss of summer/fall seasonal employment.

edutcher said...

Beat me to it. Good for you, Mike.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The unemployment numbers cited above are an inaccurate measure of the unemployment data.

The broader measurement of unemployment is called U-6. It accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs.

U-6 is currently 17.5%, and will likely approach 20% by year's end when the data is adjusted for loss of summer/fall seasonal employment.

That's the important number. It's Depression-level. What's more troubling is the unemployment level for young adults is around 25% and that many young people out of work is dangerous.

Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan all offer illustrative examples.

Anthony said...

I don't see anyone screaming "They lied!" about that graph. I see us saying "They were completely and pathetically wrong and we're over a trillion dollars poorer because of it."

If you're spending that kind of money -- OUR money -- you need to be pretty darn accurate in your projections. This obviously was just pulled out of someone's arse.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


You are absolutely correct that all the chart tells us is that the (with stimulus) prediction was wrong, and nothing about the effect of the stimulus.

However, it does not follow ...that you have to accept the dark blue curve as well, since it is the same model! For example, if employers were concerned that the stimulus spending would force future tax increases or inflation, and the model did not account for that, then it's possible for the "without stimulus" graph to be correct, and the "with stimulus" graph to be incorrect.

John Lynch said...

GDP did grow last quarter and unemployment lags growth.

That said, whoever predicted that unemployment wouldn't get this high was, well, high.

The last bad recession we had, in 1982, had unemployment reaching 10.8%. This one is obviously worse than that. I have to wonder why anyone expected lower unemployment this time.

The economy will recover. It won't have much to do with anything the government does. Whether that will happen in time for the 2010 elections is another matter.

Anyone wishing to compare this to Reagan should revisit the results of the 1984 election to see what the American people thought about his economic policies.

Darcy said...

HAHAHAHA! And the Dems are going to pass their "health care reform"! Yay!
Depression - here we come, but we'll have health care...err...what the gov't...I mean, what, it's gonna be interesting. I don't feel bad at all wishing the worst of it on those who elected this gang. Bend over and take your medicine. :)

Thank you so much, Obama voters.

Darcy said...

Yeesh. I'm bitter. Yeah.

John Lynch said...

Conversely, I'd remind McCain voters that this would have happened if he were the President.

Bob said...

The Democrats are getting an early preview of the 2010 election ads.

Angst said...

As I've said before ...

I can't wait to see how the Democrats will defend the roll back of the Bush tax cuts (next year) as a plan for increasing employment.

Darcy said...

No, you can't say that, John Lynch. You have no idea what would have happened under McCain. Only speculation. I know it makes you feel better somehow, though.

John Lynch said...

Yes, I can, since I don't see how the results of the financial meltdown and collapse of demand in late 2008 could have been that much different had McCain been in office. That wasn't caused by the Obama administration. Economic indicators lag reality, and most of what we are seeing now is the result of economic forces set in motion six months or a year ago.

Let's be a little bit honest about this. We can disagree with the administration's response (I do), but I don't think we can say that the recession is a result of the election of Obama. That's not true.

Ricardo said...

They are out of toilet paper on aisle 12 of my local Safeway. Obviously this is Obama's fault, and it wouldn't have happened if McCain and Palin had been elected. I was going to tell the Safeway manager about the problem, but I think I'll stew about it for the next three years, and hope that a change in administration will fix the toilet paper shortage on aisle 12. After all, no use getting personally involved in solving problems, right? Much better to blame everything on the top, talk about it ad nauseam, and hope that things improve?

EDH said...

The key issue is whether unemployment has now become a leading, rather than a lagging, indicator of where the Obama policies are taking us in the future.

Even those who blame Bush can only blame him for the worst-case unemployment trajectories forecast by Obama.

The rest is Obama's, especially in the "out" years.

Steven said...

John, you can only say that if you know:

1) That Obama Administration policies (a massive amount of government spending, the proposed health care reform) have no negative influence whatsoever on the tendency of employers to hire people, and that

2) Alternate policies (for example, a Bush-style "send a $1,000 check to everyone in the country for a total cost of $300 billion") wouldn't have had positive influence.

And unless you have a viewer for alternate time streams, well, you don't know, Jack.

avwh said...

There's no question there were ways to spend $700B+ that would have done far more for the economy than porkulus did. The only "jobs saved" by porkulus were state govt jobs, mostly - payback to the SEIU.

That's also why the employment numbers will get far worse in 2010, IMO - states won't have the federal windfalls they got this year to close their budget deficits. Next year, lots of states will have to cut payrolls to balance budgets.

Darcy said...

Yes, Steven. And I'm not just talking about Obama. It is the Dem majority, too. When will voters hold them accountable for not only what they've passed, but what they propose in a nearly depression-era economy? Quit blaming Bush for spending! This spending is new. It's yours, Dems. Own it.

And btw, garage has repeatedly said Obama and the Dems are doing precisely what they said they would do. He's right. This is what the voters who elected them own now as well. Man and woman up, people. garage is. I respect him immensely for that.

Pogo said...

Heckuva job, Barry.

Dogwood said...

Can anyone out there help me out? What is the mathematical method for calculating that figure?

The formula you are looking for is SWAG.

Greg Hlatky said...

Actually there's another measure of unemployment, the U2009 figure, taking into account how many people are secretly employed. That figure is 2.8%. We're doing great!

All hail the Mahatmobama!

John Lynch said...

I'd look at the total employment numbers. They are more accurate than the unemployment rate. They are also much, much worse. By that measure, we have about 7.5 million fewer jobs than we had at the end of 2007. We have about 3.5 million fewer since Obama took office. I'm surprised that no one uses that figure.

When you take into account that we need about 100,000 new jobs a month just to keep up with population growth...there's almost 10 million people out of work because of the recession.

That is awful.

Theo Boehm said...

It's true the financial near-meltdown and recession started under Bush. Stipulated. And, of course, Obama will try to blame Bush in perpetuity for current and future woes.

I'm old enough to remember when Democrats always had a handy scapegoat/boogeyman in the person of Herbert Hoover to blame and to frighten voters with. They got nearly 50 years out of that, until pretty much everyone who remembered the Depression was dead.

I think Team Obama won't have as good a run. The economic collapse started very late in Bush's term, and Obama bought into and continued the Bush Administration's emergency measures, meaning especially the bailout of large banks and Wall St.

Roosevelt was blessed in the end with a couple of years of Hoover twisting in the wind, and Roosevelt made a very public clean break, at least symbolically, with Hoover's policies.

Obama did no such thing, and, in fact, took ownership of Bush Administration efforts. Having done that, and having pursued many policies that, despite current Republican whining, Bush would have almost certainly pushed himself, it's not obvious how the two Administrations would have differed.

Up to a point.

But we're now past that point, especially with Obama's health care, cap-and-trade, and many proposed changes to the tax code. So, in most people's minds, Obama is responsible for the future.

The past may have been Bush. But as much as they might wish to now, they're never going to be able to give Dubya a makeover as Herbert Hoover.

Bush may have been a particularly inept President, but I now have that sinking feeling that we ain't seen nothin' yet.

Who said there'll never be another Herbert Hoover?

Titus said...

I did it last night.

I shot a pretty good load.

Four seperate shots, one hit my Indian/British husbands hair.

And no I don't chow.

Thank you fellow republicans.

Tonight will be round two.

Titus said...

Oh and go Badgers, how exciting.

Lastly, I am outraged.

Thank you.

Titus said...

Did I also mention that my British/Indian husband shoots four loads in a matter of hours.

That's Amazing.

MadisonMan said...

It astounds me that a government Economic forecast is wrong. I mean, who would have thought it? How often does that happen?

Big Mike said...

@Theo, so you agree with me that Althouse needs an "Obama is like Hoover" tag?

That's two votes, Professor.

Big Mike said...

@Julie, regarding your 11:33 comment.

You are, of course, perfectly correct that the main point of this chart is that the models were wrong. But what you may be missing is that (1) the model was put together by the President's economic brain trust, (2) there is no indicator whatsoever that they've learned anything new that would cause their models to be more accurate, and (3) they want to tinker further with stimulus packages and with large portions of the economy.

Have you any confidence that they will get it more accurate this time? Me either.

Alex said...

garage - Fox News, Bush, Palin! Anything but talk about Obama's failure.

AJ Lynch said...

The good news is even the Obama dunces will have no choice but to suspend the payroll tax. IMO, it is the only way left to spur jobs and consumer confidence.

The better news is people will get used to keeping their own money and the govt will have trouble re-enacting the tax when the recession is over. Freedom!

miller said...

I for one think this chart is created by Obama-haters. The president never promised that unemployment would not go above 8%. What he said was, "Let me be clear: a lot of you are going to lose your jobs, and a lot of you are going to lose your health care plans."

Theo Boehm said...

The difficulty comes from attaching specific numbers to the phrase, "a lot."

Knowing how to avoid blame for specific numbers is a basic skill in the business world. The political one, too.

Econometric data, projected or real, always make bad rhetoric.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The teaparty/Glenn Reynolds/Randroid/blogger solution to the chart is to whine about it, throw tantrums, wave loopy signs, play dress-up games, and falsely think that what's good for Koch Industries (search it) is good for the U.S.

Now, let me outline the pro-American, highly effective way to do something about this chart: make it difficult for politicians and the MSM to support illegal activity. One of the major side-effects of that would be to discourage illegal immigration, freeing up jobs for Americans. That would also reduce the amount we're spending on unemployment, and it would be a net financial gain.

You can do that using this plan. Promote that plan to everyone you know and encourage them to form local groups. One of the things they can ask about is this shocking statistic. Every American who isn't corrupt should be shocked by that, but you won't hear about it from the aforementioned groups. They're too busy trying to help Koch Industries save on their taxes, or something.

Richard Dolan said...

The amazing reality here is not the chart or what got us to this spot, but the utter lack of any response (other than rhetorical) from Team Obama. While they talk a good game, Team Obama hasn't proposed any policies that might improve the lot of employers, either in the form of increasing demand for their goods and services or decreasing the costs of doing business. Employment lags a pick-up in business activity because employers are slow to add capacity by increasing the workforce. The first step is usually to try to do more with the existing workforce, and expand only when demand (and confidence) pick up. So, if you want to improve the employment picture, it might be a good idea to target that aspect of the business cycle. But Team Obama seems utterly disinterested in doing anything along those lines.

Making it all worse is that they remain committed to policies that will impose loads of new taxes and make lots of essentials more expensive (energy being at the top of that list), all in the service of non-economic goals. Added to that is proposed new legislation that will restrict labor markets by strengthening the position of unions. While the latter may be good for union members, the cost is paid in the form of higher prices, lower efficiency, barriers to entry in labor markets and fewer overall jobs, particularly for those lower down on the job scale.

I can't recall a Dem administration ever pursuing such wildly regressive policies, in the teeth of a severe downturn in the labor market. This is where the marriage between high-end lefties interested in enviro and other policies designed to show off how 'concerned' they are, with unions (particularly ones like SEIU) leads to. The new entrants, the less skilled and the down on their luck are all in the process of getting screwed.

Hope and Change, all right. But probably not what those folks thought it would look like.

Alex said...

Richard Dolan - Team Obama is heaping economic insanity on top of insanity either in the vain hope it works OR it's their plan to scuttle our economy in favor of a Euro-socialist system.

Theo Boehm said...

Screwing ordinary working people has been what our politics and business have been about for a long time. Pick a political party, and anyone can tell you how they have helped do it.

Now it's the Democrats' turn.

Does anyone use the word, "plutocrat" any more?

LonewackoDotCom said...

One of the reasons why it's difficult to enforce our imm. laws is because unions see illegal aliens as part of their power base. In the case of the SEIU, a large number of their members are here illegally. Imm. enforcement would reduce the SEIU's take and their power.

I am absolutely convinced that - within mere seconds of me posting this - Richard Dolan will leap at the chance to support enforcing our imm. laws. Of that I am convinced.

Theo Boehm said...

Undocumented immigrants have been part of a lot of people's power calculus for quite a while.

Everyone benefits from their presence but the working people who happened to be here first.

But that's an unfair advantage you get from having such anachronisms as nation-states. It's no more than fair that all workers, regardless of location, should share the sacrifices necessary for....

Hmm...I'm having a hard time remembering just what we're supposed to be sacrificing for at the moment, but I'm sure a politician will be happy to remind me if I just turn on the news.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Yes, darn those nation states!

Also: any relation to Andy?

Bruce Hayden said...

$700 billion doesn't buy as much as it used to, does it?

Actually, it buys less than the Obama Administration thinks even. They keep throwing out their "jobs saved or created" numbers, and, lo and behold, it turns out that most of those are jobs "saved" and those are really civil servants who got raises and are counted as jobs saved because they might have left their jobs if they hadn't gotten those raises - with currently, over 10% unemployment, I don't think so. Oh, and there is also a lot of double counting, so that some school districts are showing more jobs saved than total jobs.

What the "stimulus" bill is looking more and more like is Chicago politics as usual. The Obama Administration paid off its supporters with almost a billion dollars of pork, all in the name of Keynesian economic stimulus. Never mind that the only economist really believing that was (and still is) former Enron adviser, Paul Krugman, who thinks we need even more pork barrel spending.

This is how Chicago politics works - your supporters get you elected, and then you shower them with goodies at the expense of the public in return.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Democrats are pretty much doing everything wrong that they can here. First, they start out flushing well over a trillion dollars down the drain is wasteful spending (I am including both the "stimulus" bill and a good part of the appropriations bill with its 8,000 or so earmarks).

Then, instead of giving actual tax breaks, they just give people cash, in the form of income tax rebates. Sorry, not the same thing. People react very different when receiving windfall cash (or tax rebate), and getting a semi-permanent tax cut. They save the cash, but invest if they see an actual tax cut. Of course, they actually did give away a lot of cash, both for Clunkers, and also for 1st time home buyers (or at least that was where the money was supposed to go - it turns out that much of it went to scammers - no surprise).

Next, they are trying to vote huge tax increases into effect, both with ObamaCare and Tax and Bribe (aka Cap and Trade). Again, a disincentive to invest and hire. Finally, instead of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and indexing or abolishing the AMT, they are allowing them to expire, which is another big tax increase.

So, the bottom line is that they spent a huge amount of money through the government with a Keynesian multiplier less than one, giving raises to people who don't need them (but helped Obama get elected), and are on track to massively increase taxes. And don't forget destroying the Rule of Law in order to protect the UAW pensions at GM and Chrysler.

No wonder unemployment is so high, and likely going higher.

But, we're not done. The Fed has been printing money like there is no tomorrow to finance this and to try to stimulate us out of our recession. They can get away with that, to some extent, right now, because the velocity of money is lower than it has been for decades due to the banking problems over the last year. BUT, once the banking system gets back on its feet, and starts lending again, velocity is likely to rebound, and if it even gets partway back to historic levels, we are going to have significantly more inflation than we have seen since our last Nobel winning President left office.

blake said...

Nice country you have here.

Shame if anything happened to it.

PatCA said...

Unemployment? Not to worry.

We just passed a budget busting health care bill which will fix everything.

careen said...

Let's just Pass A Law against people being UNEMPLOYED. Then if they are STILL unemployed after that, they'll BE FINED for the privilege of not being able to pay their payroll tax. They are not doing their part to enlarge the risk pool

Then if they can't pay their Fine, we'll put THEM in PRISON.

Problem Solved.

It's going to work for Health Care, right?

Larry said...

Are you really this stupid Ann?

Serious question

Alex said...


Are you really this stupid Ann?

Serious question

Serious question - are you stupid? How does it feel to have it turned around right back at ya fuckhead?

Larry said...

The original estimates were produced prior to Obama even entering office. When the January unemployment came out in February, we discovered that the United States was losing 650,000 jobs a month and not 200,000 jobs a month.

That explains the discrepency. The monthly unemployment job losses have dropped steadily from 650,000 a month to 200,000 jobs a month since Obama came into office. This stuff does not change immediately overnight, since unemployment is a lagging indicator.

Really - you have to be incredibly stupid to not understand this.

Are the commenters on this blog really this stupid too? I thought this was supposed to be a moderate blog? I guess not.

Larry said...

My apologies. It was 700,000 job losses a month under Bush. And yes, this picture shows quite clearly that the job situation has had a dramatic turnaround since Obama entered office.

It's all about the rate of change. My question again. Is Ann really this stupid?

Alex said...

Larry - what has Obama done to slow the rate the jobs are being shed? Point me one policy, otherwise you're a dumbfuck.

Larry said...

More evidence of a jobs turnaround.

What has Obama done? Simple. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Here is Mark Zandi's (of take on the recovery act.

The economy went from -6.5% shrinkage to 3.7% growth in 2 quarters, the largest upswing since the 1930's.

Der Hahn said...

Using Larry's process of evaluation, whizzing in a river makes it flow downstream.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

"Larry - what has Obama done to slow the rate the jobs are being shed? Point me one policy, otherwise you're a dumbfuck."

And Bingo! Larry provides the (obvious) evidence.

I guess this means Alex is a dumbfuck for not having a clue as to the answer of his own question.

Serious economists understand that the spending should have been greater, if anything, to have slowed the rate of increase in unemployment or turned it around faster. Of course, the plutocratic Luddites here are either too stupid or too dishonest to account for that.

I'm not an economist, but I at least know where to go to for mature economic analysis. Hint: It's not the RNC or the wingnuts steering it ever-rightward. It's the people who aren't obsessed with politicizing a very real and serious problem.

If you guys took this seriously you wouldn't be sniffing around for a bloody political opportunity.

Talk about opportunism.

But since you're not only so malevolent as to not care about the serious and unique nature of the Bush recession, but too stupid to understand how it plays out politically, I'll have to point out that you fail to account for how timing plays into this. The political spin will depend entirely on the timing of the recovery. If we're growing fast "enough" or gaining jobs fast "enough" by the next election, the Democrats will benefit. If not, the opposition will.

And that's all you care about anyway. Be honest.

Your real concern is whether you can get an election in by the time things turn around. You should be talking about changing the timing of election cycles and not about macroeconomics, as the latter is just an abstraction from your principle interest: REPUBLICAN POWER.

Whether that power is used to fuck things up or make things better doesn't concern you in the slightest.

AJ Lynch said...


Mark Zandi was a big booster of Obama's Spendulus boondoggle. Zandi may have even helped to slam the pieces of crap plan together.

Would you expect Zandi to suddenly criticize something he supported?

wv = phallis hahaha

AJ Lynch said...


Wrong. We are disussing how out of touch Obama's moves are with the laws of economics and the laws of human nature.

Obama seems to think he can alter those laws or that the laws are not immutable. Obama may come to understand [the jury is still out on whether Obama can learn on the job] he was very much a novice when it comes to economics and human nature.

Big Mike said...

Serious economists understand that the spending should have been greater.

No, the really serious economists understand that the spending should have been different. The Obama administration's lack of leadership on this point was telling. The spending never was targeted; the "stimulus" was never anything more than the standard liberal tactic of throwing lots of money at a problem and hoping it would go away.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

No, the really serious economists understand that the spending should have been different.

Pity, then, that none among your minions of right-wingers here and the astroturfed crowds on the National Mall seems to have understood that point or taken up criticism along those lines.

We are disussing how out of touch Obama's moves are with the laws of economics and the laws of human nature.

This is not worth taking seriously.

Anyone who uses the language of codified "laws" when it comes to these things is thinking like a theologian and not interested in approaching a discussion of secular human activity in a very well-reasoned way.

Big Mike said...

Pity, then, that none among your minions of right-wingers here and the astroturfed crowds on the National Mall seems to have understood that point or taken up criticism along those lines.

I don't think that I'm the only person who argued that the "stimulus" bill put out by Pelosi and her minions was wrongly targeted. I think you read what you want to read and disregard the rest. (With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.)

BTW, I don't think I have any "minions." Did you perhaps mean "myriads"?

We are disussing [sic] how out of touch Obama's moves are with the laws of economics and the laws of human nature.

This is not worth taking seriously

Why not? I have been making the point repeatedly that Obama is an economic illiterate and so far the only thing you and other way left-of-center commenters can offer by way of rebuttal are ad hominem attacks. When you're ready to argue serious economics I'm ready to debate you. Right now I'd feel like I was going into a duel where I've got a double-clipped AK-47 against an opponent armed with an unloaded 19th century dueling pistol.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

There were economic arguments in the 9:31 post. You addressed them. Not in the level of detail that your assertion calls for, but you addressed them. Fine. But A.J. Lynch was the one who stepped in with assertion I addressed and that you subsequently spoke to. Different point. See how that works?

If you want to assert that Obama knows less about economics than Bush knows about the importance of staying awake behind the wheel of the world's largest economy and putting aside politics for the sake of competent leadership, fine. I don't see how that makes for a point worth arguing over one way or another. But I will say that Larry Summers and a good number of the rest of the appointees know more than either one of us or than Bush's appointees. In either event, the important thing is that the Chief Executive understands the importance of listening to his advisors, which is more than John Snow and a number of other Bush administration officials could say about W.

Up until this post, I replied with no comments regarding you personally - hence, no ad hominems. But since you now make the discussion about what you know in comparison to what I know, I obviously have no choice but to address that in personal terms in order to respond effectively. But I did that by pointing out that there is a whole lot more that one needs to consider when discussing comparative levels of knowledge of spectators than just what you supposedly know or what I know: The comparative levels of knowledge of those who are qualified to comment authoritatively on this, and whether or not they have the president's attention. I think that's moreso the point but if you want to blast away at me with your AK-47 go ahead. The relevant argument is still right there above it for all to read and if you think it doesn't matter and that your comments constitute the end-all-be-all of economic analysis by virtue of who you are and the witty dueling metaphors that you bring to the table, then hey, what can I say?

AJ Lynch said...


There is no evidence that Obama has taken any of Summers' or Voelcker's advice. It is apparent to me Obama is following his own ideas. That is why Obama's econ measures suck and are failing.

Alex said...

AJ Lynch - but we just had 3.5% GDP growth last quarter! Don't you know that our economy is more productive with fewer employees and that's a great thing!

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

Turning around negative growth to 3.5% doesn't sound like "suck" and "failing" to me. But maybe you think the Bush economic crisis wasn't that serious to begin with.

Alex said...

BSR - what did Bush do to create the economic crisis? Point to one specific policy or STFU.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

You "STFU".

If you don't hold Bush responsible for doing nothing throughout his entire term in office, while presiding over an inflating housing bubble upon which the entire financial sector was reliant, then you're too fucking dumb to even have this conversation.


Alex said...

BSS - and it was Barney Frank who helped make the housing bubble possible by mandating loans to poor people who couldn't afford them. So blame your precious Democrats for the recession!

Theo Boehm said...

Which one here is "Itchy," and which one is "Scratchy?"

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

"BSS - and it was Barney Frank who helped make the housing bubble possible by mandating loans to poor people who couldn't afford them. So blame your precious Democrats for the recession!"

No can do. They weren't steering the ship of state.

Alex said...

BSS said:

No can do. They weren't steering the ship of state.

As usual more bullshit out of your mouth. You can't seem to connect the dots between specific Bush policies and the recession. Just arbitrary bullshit like "Bush was in charge, he's to blame!".

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

Hi! I'm "Theo BOOM"! I like to publish distorted pictures on the internets of my fat face behind a wine glass! I'm a passionless snob, but that's nothing a good glass of Merlot won't fix! Or will it? I'm too drunk to care, of course.

Hey "Theo"! Why not try that wine as an enema? Glass and all. The aches and pains won't be that much worse than usual, I promise!

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

"Just arbitrary bullshit like "Bush was in charge, he's to blame!"."

Yep. Blaming the person in charge is really an exercise in arbitrariness. Uh-huh.

Ever had a job, Alex?

I'd love to see you try to blame your pisspoor performance on the guy who held your job eight years ago! Let's see how well that one flies!

But why take it from me. Even John Snow, W's treasury secretary, had choice words to say about Bush's incompetence and the role it played in the crisis. But what does he know anyway? It's not like they're "Alex" or anything. Important little piece of shit that he is!

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

Paul O'Neill: Bush Doesn't Get Financial Crisis, 'It Shows'.

Do you even know who Paul O'Neill is, Alex?

Alex said...

BSS - got news for you. The POTUS is not in charge of the US economy. But that you think so betrays your Communist philosophy.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

Here's some hefty evidence of Alex's idiocy. Just a taste, to start with:

An article from Time titled “Confessions of a White House Insider” describes how former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill has been warning the Bush administration about the financial crisis that was about to happen, that more tax cuts would just make matter worse, and how he was insignificantly brushed aside.

A video on WTAE-TV shows an interview with Paul O’Neill, former U.S. Secretary of Treasury, where he assesses the nation’s state of economy, talking about the subprime mortgage as the root of the nation’s economic problem and his disagreement with the President’s signing of the multi-billion dollar economic stimulus package providing tax refunds for most Americans.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

It betrays your ignorance of the U.S. Constitution to think that Bush's refusal to listen to the advice of his own treasury secretary was a sign of any interest in maintaining a capitalist system, or anti-communist credentials, or whatever. Or anything that the Founders gave two shits about. Apparently financial collapse was a way to defeat the already defeated Soviets in Alex's warped mind. How American! How capitalist!

How stupid.

You are revealing a staggering capacity for idiocy with every comment you post.

wv: bonshe

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

Describing top-level meetings, O'Neill tells Suskind that during the course of his two years the President was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people."

But some anonymous dickweed named "Alex" says that Bush signed off on no policy authorizing the financial crisis and that, therefore, he deserves absolutely no blame for idly watching it happen despite the fact that he dismissed HIS OWN treasury secretary for noting as much!

Absolutely stunning.

Nice re-writing of history, Alex.

Theo Boehm said...

Well, folks, you can see for yourself who is doing a good job as BOTH "Itchy" and "Scratchy."

Carry on.

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...
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Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

And keeping track of all the statements O'Neill made in light of Bush's malfeasance is no easy task. If Alex hadn't been so ignorant of them, I wouldn't have had to take the time to find and post so many of them.

Now go away and crawl back into whatever little cellar or hole you crawled out of. Take your wine with you.

Drunken fool.

Theo Boehm said...

Violent fantasies, such as those just expressed above, are never a good sign, and come awfully close to violating Blogger's Content Policy (See under "Violence.")

Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...
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Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...
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Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...
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Brazilian Samba Rhythm said...

I am deciding to delete the previous three comments I posted, as well as the original remark I made comparing "Theo Boehm's" intrusions into discussions that he is too uptight to stomach or participate in, to the hair-trigger reflexes of an overactive anal sphincter and the wine glass that could fit in it if it weren't being put to use inebriating the uptight character in question.

I do this because Theo's penchant for becoming perpetually offended concerns me as much as his inability to identify a joke and his inability to participate in conversations that he, nevertheless, feels some strange urge to control.

I feel that no threat of violence was made, but agree that if Theo is so unhinged as to interpret these humorous and metaphorical suggestions as threats of violence, I will indulge his lunacy and withdraw the offending remarks.

But I will save them somewhere so that if, in the future, anyone else wishes to review the dialogue in question, they might be afforded the opportunity of a respectable effort at interpreting them in the sane and rational way that Theo Boehm cannot.

Of course, the whole point is that Theo Boehm has nothing substantive to offer on Paul O'Neill, the financial crisis, or anything else that others here obviously wished to discuss. But he is too sensitive to admit that. He is also a passionless snob, but that is a different story.

I think the latter is a convenient mask for the former.

Andrew said...

Just a reminder to everyone upthread glibly tossing around the $700 billion figure for the stimulus package -- over $300 billion of that was in the form of TAX CUTS (something which Republicans used to be quite fond of -- until a democratic president started doing it of course). If I recall, it might have been the largest tax cut ever. And yes, $400 billion in spending is a lot of money, no doubt. But it needs to be put in context. This year's defense appropriateion is over $680 billion I believe.

So if you are going to criticize, at least do it with some honesty